Stylized Aesthetic QR Code

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

40 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


  • Mingliang Xu
  • Hao Su
  • Yufei Li
  • Xi Li
  • Jianwei Niu
  • Pei Lv
  • Bing Zhou


Original languageEnglish
Article number8604076
Pages (from-to)1960-1970
Number of pages14
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Multimedia
Issue number8
Online published7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


With the continued proliferation of smart mobile devices, the Quick Response (QR) code has become one of the most-used types of two-dimensional code in the world. Aiming at beautifying the visual-unpleasant appearance of QR codes, existing works have developed a series of techniques. However, these works still leave much to be desired, such as personalization, artistry, and robustness. To address these issues, in this paper, we propose a novel type of aesthetic QR codes, Stylized aEsthEtic (SEE) QR code, and a three-stage approach to automatically produce such robust styleoriented codes. Specifically, in the first stage, we propose a method to generate an optimized baseline aesthetic QR code, which reduces the visual contrast between the noise-like black/white modules and the blended image. In the second stage, to obtain an art style QR code, we tailor an appropriate neural style transformation network to endow the baseline aesthetic QR code with artistic elements. In the third stage, we design a module-based robustness optimization mechanism to ensure the performance robust by balancing two competing terms: visual quality and readability. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the SEE QR code has high quality in terms of both visual appearance and robustness and also offers a greater variety of personalized choices to users.

Research Area(s)

  • QR code, robust, style-oriented, visual aesthetics

Citation Format(s)

Stylized Aesthetic QR Code. / Xu, Mingliang; Su, Hao; Li, Yufei; Li, Xi; Liao, Jing; Niu, Jianwei; Lv, Pei; Zhou, Bing.

In: IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, Vol. 21, No. 8, 8604076, 08.2019, p. 1960-1970.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review